Canada Jetlines Ltd. (TSX-V: JET) (the “Company” or “Jetlines”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Bird to Jetlines’ Board of Directors serving as well as a special advisor to the CEO. Alan has more than 25 years of airline finance experience including executive tenure with VivaAerobus, Tiger Airways, and British Midland.
Mr. Bird most recently served as Chief Financial Officer for Mexico’s fastest growing ULCC air carrier, VivaAerobus. During his tenure as CFO Alan helped create the lowest cost airline in North America. Mr. Bird was responsible for the purchase agreement for 52 new Airbus 320, the largest deal recorded at that time by a Latin American airline. In addition, he successfully raised MXN$1billion of fiduciary certificate debt finance as a part of an acquisition program.
Prior to VivaAerobus, Mr. Bird served as Chief Financial Officer and board member for Tiger Airways Singapore. In this role, he initiated the IPO process that realized significant gains for shareholders and was instrumental in establishing sound financial practices for the start up of a subsidiary airline in Australia. From 1997 to 2007, Mr. Bird held the role of Finance Director to British Midland International and was responsible for the overall financial management and procurement function for the BMI Group of Companies. Mr. Bird was part of the team in the deal that secured an exit for shareholders at a valuation of £500 million when the airline was sold to Lufthansa.
Mr. Bird currently serves as an advisor to Irelandia Aviation, the world’s premier low-cost carrier developer. Irelandia initiates, develops and delivers successful low-cost carriers in partnership with airline management and investors. Irelandia has successfully developed five low cost carriers to date – Ryanair in Europe, Tiger Airways in Asia, Allegiant in the USA, VivaAerobus in Mexico and VivaColombia in Colombia. Mr. Bird is an Advisor to Viva Air, VivaColombia, and Viva Peru on financial matters including aircraft acquisition and the development of joint ventures for engineering and maintenance initiatives.
In addition to his role as a director, Mr. Bird will serve as Special Advisor to the CEO. Commenting on his appointment Allan Bird said, “I am very pleased to join my former colleague from VivaAerobus, Javier Suarez, to build Canada’s first true ULCC; the opportunity in Canada remains very exciting. Javier is building a solid team having recently added seasoned ULCC operator Michael Bata as COO and I am looking forward to working with Javier to continue the build out of the airline”.
CEO, Javier Suarez commented, ‘I am excited with the opportunity to work with Alan again. He played a key role helping VivaAeorbus become the lowest cost airline in America. His experience and support will help us progress in the right direction to soon become the lowest cost airline in Canada.
Executive Chairman, Mark Morabito commented, “I am thrilled to announce Alan’s appointment to the Board, and as a Special Advisor to our CEO. Alan’s experience is invaluable for Jetlines as we advance towards commercial operations and are engaged in the financing process for the Company. Alan is a highly qualified finance and procurement professional and his track record of increasing and realizing shareholder value and strategic planning will add significant bench strength to our already talented Board.”
Alan Bird is a Chartered Accountant and holds an honours degree in Mathematical Economics from Birmingham University.
Jetlines has granted a total of 225,000 stock options to Mr. Bird in his role as a director. The stock options have been issued for a five-year term, with one quarter vesting every six months from the date of grant.